I often needed to create images or animations for clients that captured some phenomena happening inside the body or at a microscopic level. There are many ways to handle this and one I typically through falloff maps at. Inside of most modeling and animation packages there is the concept of a "falloff map". Basically, shader/map that blends between two colors based on the direction of the surface to the camera. For example, if your colors are black and white, you can have black be used on any part of the surface facing the camera and white on any surfce perpendicular to the camera. This creates a cheap "backlit" effect and works well for medical imagery. I also use it when control reflections for character eyes.
What was different about this particular scene is that I used falloff maps for the diffuse, specular, and bump channels, but also nested multiple levels of noise inside the falloff maps. Instead of simply having black/white as my colors I replaced each with a noise map to break up the surface details more in the hopes of giving it a more organic look. You can see this in more detail on slide 2. A simple/cheap effect that I use all over the place.